Monday, March 19, 2012

"I'd druther quilt . . . ."

A People and Their Quilts
by John Rice Irwin

(Schiffer Publishing Ltd.  1997.  214 pages)

My quilting mother shared this unique book with me.  Although  A People and Their Quilts isn't new, I wasn't familiar with the book until she shared it with me.  Perhaps I missed this find because it really doesn't fall under the "craft" book classification. 

John Irwin, the author, is an historian and founder of the Museum of Appalachia located in Tennessee.  Irwin traveled rural Appalachia interviewing and photographing quilters and their quilts.  The result is a wonderful volume that gives readers the stories behind many vintage and antique quilts.

In some of the Appalachian homes that Irwin entered, the quilter had a raised quilting frame.  I have never seen a raised quilting frame like those pictured in this book.  Apparently, when the mother and her daughters were done quilting, there was a pulley system in place (often in the family living space) so that the quilting frame could be raised to the ceiling.  With space being at a premium in many old homes, having a raised quilting frame was a great way to keep the quilt project accessible but out of the way all year.

Here's an example of a raised quilt frame that could be lowered when desired:

(Thanks to Joann at Scene Through My Eyes for the use of her photo)

A People and Their Quilts provides great inspiration for quilters and crafters, and gives the vintage linen lover just what she wants . . . the story behind that lovely piece of needlework.

"I'd druther quilt than eat on the hungriest day ever I seen" 
Ethel Hall of Kentucky answering Irwin's question about her quilting.

To see's information regarding A People and Their Quilts click here .

Springtime is so lovely!


"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;
neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:"
Isaiah 59:1

Have you seen or used a raised quilting frame?


  1. Beautiful spring blooms Amy. The raised quilt is such a brilliant idea. I have never heard if that before. Hugs

  2. Spring has sprung. I can smell the fragance. The last one is typical pretty and good smell.

  3. Amy, that sounds like a neat book! My older sisters mother-in-law always had a quilt that lowered and raised to her living room ceiling! Her husband made a newer one in recent years out of PVC! I always thought she was super awesome to do all these hand quilts! She passed away recently, but left many hand sewn heirlooms for her family.